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Russian Oil Production

in Stock Analysis

By Vitaliy Katsenelson Paint me a skeptic or perhaps it’s just from being born in Russia, but I think Russian oil production is very likely to decline in the future. Why? Simple, over last couple of years Russian Government has de-privatized a big chunk of oil companies.  As we know government is not as effective…

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Jos. A. Bank: You Betcha!

in Stock Analysis

Jos. A. Bank (Nasdaq: JOSB) has reported its second-quarter numbers, and they aren’t good — they’re great!

To start with, sales were up 20.8%, and gross and operating margins improved, mainly driven by maturation of the company’s fairly new store base. But the Jos. A. Bank story is not about growth — it always had plenty of that. It is about inventories, and they were the bright, shining star of this quarter. Specifically, inventories increased only 11.7% over the second quarter last year. So why is that great news?

To answer that question, it’s necessary to understand the issues surrounding Jos. A. Bank. First, it has double the inventory days (a measure of how long it takes to convert inventory into sales) of its closest competitor, Men’s Wearhouse (NYSE: MW), and second, it had a terrible first quarter due to too much seasonal inventory. I have written two long articles on the first issue, so let me address the second issue here.

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